Dr Chloe Killen

Dr Chloe Killen

Casual Academic

School of Creative Industries

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Chloe Killen is a Communication and Media scholar and practice-based researcher within the School of Creative Industries. Her research focuses on creativity and cultural production to examine how symbolic messages, that is messages with meaning, are created. She has extensively examined the creative industry of publishing to illustrate how Australian children’s literature is produced in a system of individual, social, and cultural contexts. More recently, Chloe has focused on developing action research based approaches to environmental communication in order to communicate stories of biodiversity loss and build community ownership over threatened species. 

Chloe has taught into Communication and Media programs since 2008 and Visual Communication Design programs since 2013, with experience lecturing, tutoring, and course co-ordinating in both. The core theory and elective production courses she has taught feed into a range of majors including News and Digital Media, Media Production, PR, Media Studies, Illustration, Visual Communication and Design, and Design and Technology for the Bachelor of Education (Secondary).

Dr Killen is an early career researcher in the Future Work Research Group inside the FASTLab Research Centre of the School of Creative Industries. She has a number of C1 journal articles, E1 conference papers, J1 non-traditional research outputs (NTROs) and been involved in grants valued at $35,953. Chloe has been a member of Australian & New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of The Book (Commonground Publishing). 

In addition to this research focus on creativity, Chloe maintains her own creative practice as a ceramic artist. She often collaborates with Kevina-Jo Smith, an environmental artist, on community-focused workshops and installations exploring issues from threatened flora species and biodiversity loss, to the constraining experiences of motherhood during COVID-19. These professional projects reinforce and support Chloe’s teaching and research practice. 

Chloe’s previous industry work includes providing manuscript assessments for picture book authors, strategic communications for the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise (BMEE) to create MTNS MADE, the cultural identity for the creative industries of the Blue Mountains region, writing and editing for various publications, and co-founder of The All Story, a curated gallery in Newcastle, Australia.

Research Expertise 

Chloe was awarded her PhD in February 2016, from the University of Newcastle, titled True Stories About Tall Tales: A study of creativity and cultural production in contemporary Australian children’s picture books. Her research concluded that rather than the product of a singular individual, Australian children’s picture books are produced, distributed, and received within a complex relation of systemic social and cultural elements. This case study research was interdisciplinary in nature and draws upon several fundamental theories relevant to visual communication design as well as communication and media. 

As an early career researcher, Chloe has made a number of contributions to her field of research. She was the first to apply Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's systems model of creativity combined with Pierre Bourdieu's notions of cultural production to the field of Australian children’s literature. This has been presented and published nationally and internationally at conferences including Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), Australasian Association of Writing Program, Biennial Congress of the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research, and Biennial Congress of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature, as well as journals such as Altitude, Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, and The International Journal of the Book. She has also completed a number of J1 non-traditional research outputs (NTRO), and holds grants totalling $35,953. 

Killen has employed a number of methodological approaches in her research including case study, Practitioner-Based Enquiry (PBE), and action research. These largely qualitative approaches involve participant observation, in-depth interviews, artefact analysis, and significant reflective and reflexive thinking. She has previously worked as a Research Assistant for a number of academics in the School of Creative Industries and the Faculty of Health.

Chloe is currently the Senior Research Officer on the research project ‘Communicating as Community: An Action Research, Arts-Based Approach to Species Survival in the Ourimbah Creek Valley’. This project seeks to demonstrate that multiple modes of storytelling will assist in communicating critical ideas to a community who may not be open to dry facts about biodiversity. Specifically, it utilises food and art making practices as alternative forms of science communication to publicise threatened species, build knowledge of local biodiversity, and encourage community change.

She is also engaged in a continuing reflective study of collaborative practice with artist Kevina-Jo Smith. With this wide-ranging professional experience and research knowledge, Chloe brings a valued set of skills to her research projects.

Teaching Expertise 

Chloe has taught core theory and elective professional courses for Communication and Media programs since 2008 as well as Visual Communication Design programs since 2013. She has worked as a sessional academic, lecturer, tutor and course coordinator at the University of Newcastle, Newcastle International College, and Billy Blue College of Design. At Billy Blue, she wrote three core subjects for the Bachelor of Communication Design and the capstone research project for the Master of Design, and course co-ordinated two of these across multiple campuses (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane) simultaneously.

Over her teaching career, Chloe has received consistently positive SFTs and SFCs which average 4.7/5 on the question of student satisfaction. She has received several commendations from the Pro Vice Chancellor for her contribution to teaching, and personal commendations from various Course Coordinators and Program Managers.

Her teaching practice is centred around the co-creation of learning between teacher and student. With an approach that sees theory and practice as deeply entwined, Chloe sets the conditions for her students to develop their growing abilities in a systems centred learning approach. She shares her enthusiasm and interest in theory to demonstrate that knowledge gathering, and critical thinking is an enjoyable process. As a result, her classes have regular high attendance, retention, completion, and engagement in the form of robust class discussion, and quality assessment submissions. 

Student feedback often notes Chloe’s ability to blend theory and practice, facilitate class discussions, ensure content relevancy, provide constructive and balanced feedback, and many comments note her level of enthusiasm. In 2019, she received a student nomination for the University of Newcastle’s Sessional Academic Professional Development Award. Chloe was one of only four finalists and upon noting the high calibre of the finalists, they were all awarded a prize. An excerpt:

“Dr Chloe Killen is an asset to the University of Newcastle and during my four years at this school, she has been one of the most enthusiastic and engaging tutorial teachers I have had… Being able to get a whole classroom to excitedly participate in conversations about poststructuralist perspectives and copyright every week should be considered a modern miracle. Chloe achieves this easily and takes the effort to remember everyone's name, include the quiet students, and cultivates a friendly and inviting environment that is open to everyone to contribute to the conversation” (Student Nomination, October 2019)

Student Feedback on Teaching 2020, Semester 2 – DESN1002 Visual Communication Design: Histories and Impacts

  • My tutor, Chloe, has been wonderful. I admire intelligent women. It is such a gift to have. And Chloe shares that gift with such a generous spirit it has been a pleasure to listen to her articulate so well. 
  • My favourite part of the whole subject was my tutorial group and the people in it as it is the only Zoom group I have where people TALK!!! We all come from different backgrounds and beliefs which made for interesting opinions and feedback on the content. I enjoyed Chloe's teaching style as she always had our backs with things and guided us through our thought process which helps when it came to assignments.

Student Feedback on Teaching 2020, Semester 1 – CMNS1234 Media and Communication Concepts

  • Chloe Killen is extremely engaging and informative, bringing a very dry topic to life. Chloe went above and beyond in every tutorial to ensure that we were all comprehending and engaging with the information. Chloe went to great lengths to break down the lecture content and present it in terms that we could understand and actually relate to. I very nearly withdrew from this course because I was just struggling so much to connect with the lectures and the readings. In an already overwhelming time, I did not believe that I could finish strong or present any decent work. However, Chloe encouraged and supported [the class] to stick with (comment removed for student confidentiality). I persevered and now have found that I do actually understand the information and was able to produce work that I could be proud of. I honestly will always remember this as an example of how a good teacher can be the difference between understanding and complete ignorance.
  • Chloe was amazing doing the online collaborate tutorials!! She really understood what we were going through and was always incredibly supportive, encouraging and kind. Chloe went above and beyond for us, even making crosswords to help us study for the end of semester test, which I absolutely loved! I'm so lucky I was able to have her as a teacher.
  • Her ability to clarify difficult concepts is extraordinary, as well as her attentiveness to follow up with questions and issues from students. She creates a safe/fun space in order for students to contribute to class discussion.

Student Feedback on Teaching 2020, Semester 1 – CMNS2800 Creative Industries Entrepreneurship

  • Chloe was amazing at relating the theories and topics covered in lectures and relating them back to relevant situations, and particularly about working within the creative industries. Hearing about her experiences was very helpful, and always prompted great class discussion. She created a supportive class environment where everyone felt they could talk about their ideas and questions, and I felt the class was very industry-relevant. I always looked forward to our classes! 
  • Chloe handled the move to online tutorials extremely well compared to my experience with other tutors. In this course she created a safe space for discussions not only on the course content but how what we are learning relates to current events in the world.

Student Feedback on Teaching 2020, Semester 1 – CMNS3320 Global Trends in Media and Communication

  • I LOVED discussions in Chloe's class. I think Chloe facilitated really interesting conversations and related this to real-world practice in a way that was easy to understand and learn from. I believe that despite this semester’s circumstances, the quality of discussion in Chloe's tutorials allowed me to learn and take away key messages from this course.
  • Chloe is a wonderful tutor for facilitating an open and safe space for discussion. Chloe fosters really great discussion in tutorials.
  • Chloe is very structured and straight-forward with her teaching which leaves little room for confusion. She shows an active interest in our lives and our progress in learning the course material.

Administrative Experience 

Chloe has co-ordinated first and second year courses in the Bachelor of Communication Design across multiple campuses (Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane) at Billy Blue College of Design. She also initiated and facilitated a regular research group to assist staff in the design discipline with their Research Higher Degrees. She participated in a number of committees and working groups at Billy Blue focused on key business areas, including promoting sessional staff engagement through career opportunities and boosting internal support for RHD students.

Killen has reviewed conference papers, journal articles, and been asked to mark Honours and PhD theses. Killen has been a member of Australian & New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of The Book (Commonground Publishing). 


Collaborations 

Dr Killen is collaborating with a number of industry partners including the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, and Hidden Valley Farm on a project entitled ‘Communication as Community’. This action research project uses multiply modes of storytelling and community art making practices as a form of effective science communication to publicise and protect threatened species, build knowledge of local biodiversity, and encourage community change.

She also regularly collaborates with artist Kevina-Jo Smith on site specific art installations that are a combination of found and up-cycled materials as well as purpose made ceramic work. These projects range from exploring collaboration via distance during COVID-19 and themes of motherhood, to environmental awareness of threatened species and biodiversity loss. Their work has already been reported in the popular press (print and radio) and is presently being written up in a number of scholarly publications. 

Chloe has also worked a strategist and writer for various projects. The most recent was MTNS MADE, a brand created to unite the creative industries in the Blue Mountains under the umbrella of the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise. The work included strategic development, research, writing featured profiles and editing the broadsheet publication. This practical engagement with the creative industries sector informs and supports Chloe’s teaching and research and demonstrates Killen’s aptitude for administration and project management.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Communications, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Communication (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Australian children's literature
  • Communication and media studies
  • Creativity and cultural production
  • Threatened species
  • ceramic art
  • environmental communication

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
360699 Visual arts not elsewhere classified 30
470101 Communication studies 30
470204 Cultural and creative industries 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic

DESN1002 Design Contexts: Histories and Impacts
CMNS1234 Media and Communication Concepts
CMNS2800 Creative Industries Entrepreneurship
CMNS3310 Communication, Creativity and Cultural Production 
CMNS3320 Global Trends in Media and Communication

University of Newcastle
School of Creative Industries
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/7/2019 - 30/12/2019 Sessional Academic

DESN1002 Design Contexts 2: Histories of Vis Comm Design
CMNS3310 Communication, Creativity and Cultural Production 

School of Creative Industries | University of Newcastle
Australia
1/2/2014 - 30/6/2017 Lecturer

Course co-ordinated and taught multiple subjects across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane campuses.
CDC102A Ways of Seeing 
CDC200A Message, Meaning, Media 
ADC101A Design Exploration 

Billy Blue College of Design | Torrens University Australia
Communication (Graphic) Design
Australia
14/1/2013 - 30/6/2017 Course Material Writer

Course design, assessment and content development:
DSGN 6032 Capstone Project - Master of Design
CDC102A Ways of Seeing - Bachelor of Communication Design
CDC200A Message, Meaning, Media - Bachelor of Comm Design
AIN300A Internship - Bachelor of Communication design

Billy Blue College of Design | Torrens University Australia
Communication (Graphic) Design
Australia
1/7/2012 - 30/10/2012 Sessional Academic

CMNS1234 Introduction to Communication Theory (Course co-ordinator, lecturer and tutor)

Newcastle International College (NIC)
Australia
2/2/2009 - 30/12/2011 Research Assistant

Assisted in developing and implementing a consensus-built program of peer review of teaching across multiple campuses. 

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Australia
1/2/2008 - 30/6/2020 Sessional Academic

Tutor and guest lecturer:
- Communication and Discourse 
- Introduction to Communication Studies 
- Communication, Creativity and Cultural Production
- Audience Studies
- Contemporary Popular Music: Cultural Production and Use

School of Design, Communication & IT, University of Newcastle
Design & Communication
Australia
1/2/2007 - 30/12/2008 Research Assistant

Research assistant for multiple Communication academics.

School of Design, Communication & IT, University of Newcastle
Design & Communication
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2021 Emerging Scholar Award
Common Ground Research Networks
2019 Sessional Academic Professional Development Award Finalist
UON ACADEMY, UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA

Distinction

Year Award
2006 Faculty Commendation List
Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle

Scholarship

Year Award
2011 Faculty of Science and Information Technology RHD Conference Scholarship
Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
2008 Australian Postgraduate Award
Australian Postgraduate Award
2007 Faculty of Science and Information Technology Honours Scholarship
Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Killen CG, 'Investigating creativity in the production of Australian children's picture books: A foundation for future research', Altitude, 9 1-15 (2011) [C1]
2011 Burrows TL, Findlay NA, Killen CG, Dempsey SE, Hunter S, Chiarelli PE, Snodgrass SN, 'Using nominal group technique to develop a consensus derived model for peer review of teaching across a multi-school faculty', Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 8 1-9 (2011) [C1]
Citations Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Suzanne Snodgrass, Tracy Burrows, Sharyn Hunter
2010 Killen CG, 'Investigating creativity in the production of Australian children's literature: Implications for teaching and learning', International Journal of the Book, 7 93-105 (2010) [C1]

Conference (12 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Killen C, McIntyre K, Foster L, Ransom L, Mulcahy A, Drabsch B, et al., 'Communicating as Community: Examining power and authority in community focused environmental communication through participatory action research in the Ourimbah Creek Valley.', Melbourne, VIC (2021)
Co-authors Andrea Cassin, Phillip Mcintyre, Anita Chalmers, Bernadette Drabsch, Alex Callen
2013 Killen C, 'Investigating creativity in the production of Australian Children s Literature: An Introduction', University of Newcastle (2013)
2012 Killen C, 'Creativity in Australian Children's Picture Books: Examining Authorial Agency Within the Structures of a Dual Audience', National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australia (2012)
2012 Killen CG, 'Once upon a time: Constructing narrative and the role of storytelling in the (digital) future of Australian children's picture books', Refereed Proceedings of the 2012 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference: Communicating Change and Changing Communication in the 21st Century, Adelaide, SA (2012) [E1]
2011 Killen C, 'Tradition and innovation in contemporary Australian children s picture books', University of Newcastle, NSW (2011)
2011 Killen C, 'Fear and Safety in Australian children s literature: exploring the relationship between tradition and innovation', Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (2011)
2011 Killen CG, 'Perceptions of authenticity in the production of Australian children's picture books', Ethical Imaginations: Refereed Conference Papers of the 16th Annual AAWP Conference, Byron Bay, NSW (2011) [E1]
2010 Dempsey SE, Killen C, 'How to reach consensus about the peer review of teaching using the nominal group technique.', Australian New Zealand Association of Medical Educators 10, 2014, Townsville, Australia (2010)
2010 Killen C, 'Creativity in the Production of Australian Children s Literature: An overview of the Field', University of Newcastle (2010)
2010 Killen CG, 'Investigating creativity in the production of Australian children's literature: Implications for future research', Media, Democracy and Change: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2010, Canberra, ACT (2010) [E1]
2009 Killen C, 'Creativity in Australian Children s Literature: An overview of the Implications for Teaching and Learning', University of Newcastle (2009)
2008 Killen C, Coffee S, 'De-mystifying creativity: A rational explanation and exploration of a seemingly irrational phenomenon', This is Not Art Festival (TINA), Newcastle, NSW (2008)
Show 9 more conferences

Creative Work (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Killen C, Smith K-J, Fragments of Conversations, Newcastle (2020)

Other (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Killen C, 'A picture paints how many words? The power of an illustrated book - ABC Newcastle Interview', (2021)
2021 Killen C, 'Our Creek Project: Threatened Species in the Ourimbah Creek Valley - ABC Newcastle Interview', (2021)
2020 Killen C, 'Collaborative art and COVID-19 - ABC Newcastle Interview', (2020)
2012 Killen C, 'Celebrating the life of Maurice Sendak - ABC Newcastle Interview, Drive with Paul Bevan', (2012)
Show 1 more other

Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Killen C, True Stories About Tall Tales: A study of creativity and cultural production in contemporary Australian children s picture books, The University of Newcastle (2016)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 7
Total funding $35,953

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20211 grants / $2,473

Research Output Scheme Funding$2,473

Funding body: College of Human and Social Futures, University of Newcastle

Funding body College of Human and Social Futures, University of Newcastle
Scheme 2021 CHSF Research Output Scheme
Role Lead
Funding Start 2021
Funding Finish 2021
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20202 grants / $12,000

Communicating as Community: An Action Research, Arts-Based Approach to Species Survival in the Ourimbah Creek Valley$10,000

Funding body: FASTLab | School of Creative Industries

Funding body FASTLab | School of Creative Industries
Project Team

Prof Phillip McIntyre, Dr Chloe Killen, Dr Bernadette Drabsch, Dr Anita Chalmers, Mrs Andrea Cassin

Scheme RAPID
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2021
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Fragments of Conversation$2,000

This project is a conversation. Two friends, separated by geography, COVID-19, and the demands of motherhood, utilised art making to converse with each other through their creative practice. Taking advantage of small pockets of time, they made work and sent it to one another to be augmented and elaborated on before returning it. These artistic provocations were then gathered into a complete piece for exhibition. This process was a physicla representation of the multitude of half-finished thoughts, conversations, cups of tea, and creative projects begun but inevitably pushed aside as a result of more pressing concerns.

The research focus is a practice-based examination of Becker’s notion of Art Worlds in conjunction with Gidden’s concept of structuration. Using the methodological approach of Practitioner-Based Enquiry (PBE), the two researchers critically examined their creative practice to illuminate one case of two agents in collaboration. As a result, the dynamic interplay between the concepts of agency and structure are revealed through navigating the constraints and enablers of motherhood and COVID-19 on creative practice.  As an applied example of PBE, this work contributes new knowledge to the discipline and provides an innovative verification of the theoretical concepts being employed.

Funding body: Student Central, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Student Central, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Dr Chloe Killen, Ms Kevina-Jo Smith

Scheme Create Festival
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2020
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20113 grants / $11,780

Providing online access to Peer-Assisted Review of Teaching Framework and Tools$10,000

Funding body: Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Findlay, Burrows, Dempsey, Killen, Snodgrass, Hunter, & Chiarelli

Scheme Teaching and Learning Strategic Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Fear and Safety in Australian children’s literature: exploring the relationship between tradition and innovation$1,500

Grant to attend conference: The 20th Biennial Congress of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 4 - 8 July 2011.

Funding body: Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Chloe Killen

Scheme Higher Degree Research (HDR) Conference Scholarship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

16th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs Conference Bursary $280

Funding body: Australasian Association of Writing Programs

Funding body Australasian Association of Writing Programs
Project Team

Chloe Killen

Scheme AAWP Annual Conference Bursary
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

20101 grants / $9,700

Feasibility Study into the Implementation of Peer-Assisted Review of Teaching across Multiple Sites of the University of Newcastle$9,700

Funding body: Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Findlay, Burrows, Dempsey, Snodgrass, Killen, Hunter, & Chiarelli

Scheme Teaching and Learning Strategic Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N
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Dr Chloe Killen

Positions

Casual Academic
School of Creative Industries
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Project Assistant
School of Creative Industries
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Senior Research Assistant
School of Creative Industries
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Research Assistant
School of Creative Industries
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Research Assistant
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Contact Details

Email chloe.killen@newcastle.edu.au

Office

Room SOCI Office
Building Level 4, NewSpace
Location Newcastle City Campus

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